[artist id="12684"]Monica[/artist]'s new album is aptly titled Still Standing. After recently ending her five-year relationship with her fiancé, Monica returned from a four-year music hiatus, selling 182,000 copies of the album in its first week of release.
"I'm doing extremely good," Monica said. Her LP is currently the #2 album in the country behind teen juggernaut Justin Bieber's My World 2.0. "It's been good news all around. You can't be mad when that happens.
"It taught me a lot to be honest," the singer said about life lessons she learned during her downtime. "Throughout the making of my show and some of the process of getting the album done, there were moments where other people were weighing in on what needed to take place. I just started praying and pretty much asking God what is it that I needed to do. It just started to happen on its own. I didn't get songs from a whole a lot of places. It was a handful of producers. It's gratifying, but it's a reminder of the idea that we all do something different for a reason. R&B/soul music is what I love and it's just what I do — it's no need for me to try and change it according to what may be relevant in other places."
Monica is one of a list of soulful singers — such as Maxwell, Sade and Whitney Houston — that have come back after extended breaks from the spotlight. The Atlanta songstress credits her realness and Internet presence for part of her success.
"One of the biggest keys for me, period, is my connection to the people, because I was never ashamed of who I was," the 29-year-old said. "I never wasted time on creating façades. I think people connect to realness. People connect to the idea that, 'OK, she makes mistakes like we do and she's not afraid to talk about them. She loves who she wanna love, she does what she wants to do.' I think that people connect to that because when you're so unreachable, people don't expect real things to happen.
"In my life, they saw me grow personally, they saw me grow professionally," Monica added. "My first album dropped when I was 13. I'm also a person — I don't believe in sitting on the problem. When I say, 'Stting on the problem,' people talk about digital downloading and things of that nature. My thing was, 'OK, let me join the digital world if that's what's happening now.' I think it has a lot to do with me being young and being a young mother, and just acclimating myself to whatever is around me and adapting. I didn't understand Twitter in the beginning, now I love it. It's a way for me to talk to fans, and it's actually the way we picked my first single. Instead of complaining, people should pick themselves up by the boot straps and go along with what's taking place and find a way to make it work for them."
Monica's latest single is "Everything to Me." The video stars football player Chad Ochocinco and was inspired by the Beyoncé film "Obsessed."
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